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Spight’s late TD leads Desert Shields past Rattlers, into playoffs

Cheyenne had its sights on a big celebration Friday night, hoping to clinch a playoff spot during its homecoming game.

But Mojave almost spoiled the party, and stole the spotlight with a near-upset of the heavily-favored Desert Shields.

Tyler Spight scored on a 15-yard run with 15 seconds left, and Cheyenne survived a major scare to escape with a 16-8 home victory and clinch a spot in the Sunset Region playoffs.

“It was the worst game we’ve played offensively all year,” Cheyenne coach David Cochran said. “Our offense was sputtering and we played with a patchwork offensive line.

“I don’t know what brought (the winning drive) on, but the kids just dug in and got it done. It was scary, but we pulled it out. We got a little nervous at the end.”

Held scoreless since late in the first quarter, the Desert Shields (6-2, 5-2 Northwest) got the ball back with 2:10 left and went 68 yards in eight plays to break an 8-8 tie. The score was set up by Keenon Buchanan’s 21-yard run on third-and-6 with 24 seconds left. Buchanon added a two-point coversion run.

“Even though we lost, I feel that it was a huge victory for us,” Mojave coach Joe Delgado said. “Most people predicted we’d lose by 35 or 40 points. But we came out and gave them a run for their money.”

After driving into Cheyenne territory three times, including reaching the Desert Shields’ 8-yard line, the Rattlers tied it on the second play of the fourth quarter when Bryant Lewis drove in an 8-yard run, then ran for the two-point conversion.

Cheyenne threatened on its ensuing possession, but was stopped on fourth down at the 2.

Mojave (1-7, 0-7) took over and drove for two first downs before being forced to punt with 2:28 left, leading to Cheyenne’s winning drive.

The Desert Shields took an 8-0 lead on their second possession of the game with a 1-yard TD run by Spight. Buchanan then caught a pass from Bakari Smith for the two-point conversion.

The score was set up by a fumble recovery by junior Gale Pierce.

Spight, getting most of the carries with Myloe Lewis nursing an ankle injury, had 159 yards rushing.

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